On June 12 I posted an amalgamation of Justin Smith thoughts – that are preceded by an intro by me – he had left on the Facebook group America’s Party. Now Justin has put together an essay about the same thoughts which relate to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Fascists to the Left and Right
By Justin O. Smith
6/13/2015 7:17 PM
“Show me the ‘free trade’ section of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, and I’ll kiss Obama’s ass.” – Justin O Smith
Under the banner of free trade with trade an afterthought, America was betrayed on May 21st by forty-nine GOP Senators and thirteen Democrats, who voted for the Trade Promotion Authority [TPA] and corporatism and transnational fascism in order to fast-track the anti-American Trans-Pacific Partnership “trade deal” and create an international rule of law unaccompanied by democracy. This, in essence, would have removed constitutional protections against the creation of global governance structures, and it would transfer Congressional control of numerous issues to international tribunals.
Obama has been negotiating the TPP under a blanket of silence and secrecy for the past five years, and the American people were not allowed to see it before Congress voted on the TPA fast-track on June 12th; only through leaked information do we now understand that the TPP will significantly impact public health, foreign policy, immigration and the environment.
Members of the U.S. Congress have been allowed only limited access to the TPP in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center. They can review one section at a time under “supervision” of a guard, and they are forced to relinquish any notes they made before they leave. Yet more than 500 official corporate “advisors” have unlimited access to the TPP text.
Sen. Rand Paul stated, “It boggles the mind,” and he continued, [Who] … decides to keep a trade treaty secret?”
Michael Wessel has forty years of trade policy experience working for former Democrat Leader Dick Gephardt. He has worked on the North American Free Trade Agreement and he was an advisor to Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. He is also a “cleared advisor” who has read the text of TPP and opposes large portions of it. He asserts in a Politico interview that he and other cleared advisors are being censored and prevented from publicly sharing their criticisms of the trade deal concerning specific proposals [See HERE]. Like every other issue, Obama pretends that such criticisms do not exist.
Why isn’t every single member of Congress demanding the full disclosure of the content of the TPP?
More than this, why would any Republican be willing to give Obama extended powers under TPA, when Obama has shown a real disdain for the U.S. Constitution? Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly called it “insane to give Obama some power to negotiate an important treaty in secret … [and] not have to account to Congress or the Senate.” [See HERE]
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is one of the few people who have read the TPP, and he noted earlier this month: “Under fast-track Congress transfers its authority to the executive and agrees to give up several of its most basic powers. … the power to write legislation … to amend legislation … to fully consider legislation on the floor … to keep debate open until Senate cloture is invoked, and the constitutional requirement that treaties receive two-thirds vote.” __ Session adds, “The latter is especially important since … it [the TPP] more closely resembles a treaty than a trade deal.” [See HERE]
Numerous sources, such as Frank Gaffney – president of the Center for Security Policy, Lou Dobbs – noted scholar and investigative journalist, and political analyst Mark Levin, have all noted that the TPA empowers Obama to unilaterally draft “implementing legislation” that will change U.S. laws and regulations to comply with the agreement he has negotiated. Through the TPA, Congress limits its own ability to debate and amend Obama’s “implementing legislation.”
Curiously, most of the 49 Senators who voted to fast-track the TPP had not read it, before they voted in favor of the TPA, including presidential candidates Senators Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, although Cruz has since read it. So in essence, these men voted on a significant trade policy bill that affects the U.S. beyond anything America has seen to date, without reading the first word in it.
Deceit and subterfuge are being employed, when government officials claim TPP will not supersede U.S. law, because the fast-tracked legislation will. It also should be highlighted that rulings emanating from international tribunals do result in de facto modifications to a nation’s laws through regulations extra-legally, just in the same manner the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules have impacted the U.S.
The transnationalist governance structure of the TPP falls under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission, which has extremely broad powers and is taking the form of a nascent European Union. This new transnational commission has been chartered, by all accounts, with a “Living Agreement” clause, and it will have the authority to amend the agreement after passage, to add members and to issue regulations impacting the environment, commercial policy, healthcare, labor and immigration: An entire section of the TPP is devoted solely to immigration policy for the participating nations.
If one needs more reasons to oppose TPA and TPP, they are found in the Clinton administration’s North American Free Trade Agreement (Jan. 1994) and the WTO (Jan. 1995). These two trade treaties have caused serious detrimental effects on the U.S. economy.
Reuters’ reports: “Since the pacts were implemented, U.S. trade deficits, which drag down economic growth, have soared more than 430 percent with our free trade partners. In the same period, they’ve declined 11 percent with countries that are not free trade partners. Since fast-track authority was used to pass NAFTA and the U.S. entrance into the World Trade Organization, the overall annual U.S. trade deficit in goods has more than quadrupled, from $218 billion to $912 billion.”
Daniel DiMicco, Chairman Emeritus of Nucor Steel, explains that these free trade deals haven’t been free trade at all. We have lowered our barriers to foreign imports, but they have retained their barriers to our imports, resulting in “unilateral trade disarmament” and enabling “foreign mercantilism.”
Along with this, the AFL-CIO labor federation released a report on May 20th that read: “There is no reason to believe that drawing the Pacific Rim countries away from China is a realistic goal, so long as China continues to offer mutually beneficial trade, investments and supply chain opportunities to those countries — It seems reckless to ask Congress to enter into a deal that has a high probability of undermining U.S. wages, jobs and labor rights, as previous trade agreements have done, especially given that the deal has no real chance of diminishing China’s existing economic influence.
In this context, those proponents saying “Our rules, no rules or China’s rules,” over the TPA battle, are presenting fallacies and a false premise.
“Free trade” shouldn’t destroy one-fourth of all manufacturing jobs in the U.S., as NAFTA did. “Free trade” shouldn’t force displaced American workers to take pay cuts of 20% or more, in some cases. And ‘free trade” shouldn’t give transnational corporations more decision-making power than the U.S. government, making them a part of the government and allowing them to impact U.S. society, when their interference is unwanted and outside the normal parameters of any right they might claim.
In effect, TPA fast-track is an agreement to pre-approve and remove constitutional protections against the creation of a global governance structure, whose structures have not been made public yet. Above any desire to understand the legal and constitutional basis for such secrecy involving the TPP, one should ask, “Why is our Congress even considering such a transfer of U.S. sovereign power to a transnational governance structure of any kind, regardless of how beneficial the ‘deal’ seems?”
Can anyone show me the “free trade” in the TPP deal? Is this what freedom, liberty and justice for all has come to mean in America? God help US if it is.
Fortunately for all America, the TPA was not allowed to advance, after Speaker Boehner pushed it to a 219-211 win, because a key element, the Trade Adjustment Assistance segment, was defeated 302-126, in an effort led by labor and Nancy Pelosi. But Boehner has suggested that it will be revisited and another vote taken over the next few days, however, the 188 member Democrat caucus contains 124 hard “NO” votes in the House, with the full backing of Senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So, it is highly likely that the TAA bill won’t pass, and the TPA won’t even get a vote.
Call Your Congressmen and urge them to stand firm against any new attempt to pass TPA; and then, prepare to engage in the most forceful, powerful Civil Disobedience imaginable, if for some unforeseen reason, our representatives pass the TAA and the TPA, which go against everything remotely in America’s best interests. Prepare to even take up arms should it become necessary to do so, in order to make our government and Obama understand just how far ‘We the People’ believe that they have overreached their authority.
As a longtime supporter of the GOP, I stand with those five Republican Senators, including Jeff Sessions, and the 32 Republican Congressmen, with Tennessee’s representatives noticeably missing from their ranks, and all the Democrats who stood and opposed the TPA on June 12th: Let’s pray that the next vote permanently derails the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
By Justin O. Smith
Edited by John R. Houk
All text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor. All source-related links are by the Editor.
© Justin O. Smith